Courses - Structure
The guidelines ensure quality, guarantee a consistent learning experience on serlo.org and answer questions about the creation and editing of articles.
Of course, it is difficult to take all guidelines into consideration but don't worry, every contribution will be checked by experienced community members who will give you feedback. You are welcome to comment on a video if you have any questions.
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Who are Courses Aimed Towards?
Courses are for students that need a cohesive learning environment and who are overwhelmed by the independence and self-responsibility that are required with articles and exercises. Courses offer bite-sized pieces of theory and exercises that are governed by an overarching didactic idea. Thus, courses introduce a new topic step-by-step (see: „Introduction of…“) or offer a overview of a larger subject are (see: „Overview of…“)
How is a Course Structured?
In general, a course consists of:
several alternating pages with theory and exercises
a summary at the end
The structure of a course depends on the three types of courses. They are explained further down.
How Do I Build a Course Page?
A course page is made up of the title, a symbol and the content
Size of the page
The amount of content on a course page should equate to the size of a tablet or power point page so that learners have all the information at a glance. The more concise the individual pages, the less overwhelmed will the learners be by the content. If a particular topic stretches across several pages, the pages should be numbered appropriately. For example, „Topic (1/3)“, „Topic (2/3)“, „Topic(3/3)“. In spite of this segmentation, every course page should constitute a cohesive unit in and of itself.
If possible, every theory page should contain a visual element; an image, an illustration, a sketch or a comic (see: didactic concept of introductory courses).
Videos are always on a separate page. It should have the title „video on the subject“ or just „video“. There should be no additional content on video pages, only the video injection.
Pages with exercises.
Pages that only contain exercises have the title „exercises on the subject“ or just „exercises“. The maximum number of exercises per page is 3. Depending on the size and time needed, one or two exercises are sufficient. They should contain no group tasks but only single exercises. Afterwards, you should link to further exercises on the topic. Exercises are not created directly in the course but are integrated from the Serlo exercise database. If no exercises exist that suit your needs, please create them in the appropriate exercises folder and integrate them afterwards.
Serlo offers the option to provide terms and related knowledge by linking to the respective articles. To ensure clarity, each term or topic should only be linked once for each course
When you create a course page you have to choose a symbol for it. The following unified use of symbols for course pages is required:
Overview - „compass“
Theory modules - „open book“
Exercises - „question mark“
Videos - „play“
Summary - „Closed book“
Course type: „Introduction“
The introductory courses are governed by a didactic concept. They introduce a new term or know-how. A good introductory course is equivalent to a well-structured lesson.
Generally, there is a corresponding serlo article with any introductory course, that summarizes what has been explained in the course in detail.
From this we get the rough concept:
Introductory course = learning something new
Article = summary and revision
The first page of course should have the title „Overview“. This page contains:
„Content of the course“: The content of the course explained in four sentences or less including the goal of the course and the student can expect.
„Related article“: (optional): If there are definite articles that this course lead into, they should be linked to as follows: „This course serves as an introduction to the article…“ -“Prior knowledge“: Links to articles and courses with important knowledge. This is especially important if the courses of the overarching subject follow each other in a linear manner.
“Duration“: The approximate time needed to finish the course
A introductory course is designed according to a didactic concept, a narrative thread. This means that you don't start with the definition of the area of an rectangle = a * b but to explain that areas are described in certain units. For this, you could use coins in an illustration to line an area. You can learn more about this in the guidelines for math didactics.
Your didactic concept should be supported by a clear, narrative thread. For example, a mascot or cartoon character could lead the learner through the course.
Your didactic concept and references of the underlying theory should be put in the field „didactic deliberations“. With this, you share your knowledge with other members of the Serlo community and make sure that any edits of the course are in accordance with your ideas.
After the theoretical part of a introductory course there should always be an exercise page where students can apply what they have just learned. See the „Pages with Exercises“ entry above.
The last page of an introductory course should be titled „summary“. This pages contains:
“Related article“ (The same as with the first page): If there are definite articles that this course leads into, they should be linked to as follows: „This course serves as an introduction to the article…“
“Summary“ (optional): If there is no article that accurately summarizes the course, you should summarize the main points or information of the course.
“What's next?“: If there is a course that is based on this course, it should be linked to here. This is especially important if the courses of the overarching topic follow each other linearly.
Course Type: „Revision“
This course type follows the guidelines of the course type „Introduction“. Here, too, the topic is explained in small, detailed steps.
Course Type: „Overview“
The overview courses connect all parts of a larger, mathematical topic on Serlo and summarize them. Most of all, they serve as a revision and compact collection. There should only be one overview course for every topic.
The first page should have the title „overview“. This page contains:
“Related topic“: Please link to the related topic as follows: „This course is a summarizing overview of the topic…“ You can add up to 4 sentences as a short description if you want.
“Prior knowledge“ (optional): If this topic is based on another topic, you should link to its overview course.
“Duration“: The approximate time needed to finish the course
An overview course strictly alternates between the summaries of articles and the related exercise pages. Keep in mind to arrange the topics in logical order just like lessons that follow each other
The articles and exercise pages that are summarized on a course page have to be linked to on this course page.
Following the main part of a overview course, there should be several course pages titled „Test (1/X)“. They should contain exercises for all theoretical parts of the course.
The last page of an overview course should be titled „Summary“. This page contains:
“Related topic“ (The same as with the first page) If there are articles that this course leads into, they should be linked to as follows: „This course serves as an introduction to the article…“
“What's next?“: If there is a topic that is based on this topic, you should link to the overview course of the subsequent topic